Scorpions in a Bottle

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Recently by Robert Wenzel: The George Soros Connection to ‘OccupyWallStreet’

     

Check this out. Left wing interventionists fighting right wing interventionists.

The Bill Kristol led "Emergency Committee for Israel" is out with an ad claiming that Occupation Wall Street is anti-Semitic. The ad and my comment on the absurdity of this is here.

Paul Krugman has joined the criticism. He writes:

Over the last couple of days, I’ve been getting mail accusing me of consorting with Nazis. My immediate reaction was, what the heck? Then it clicked: the right wing is mounting a full-court press to portray Occupy Wall Street as an anti-Semitic movement, based, as far as I can tell, on one guy with a sign.

Things really gets interesting further down in Krugman’s post, when he writes:

The key to understanding this, I’d suggest, is that movement conservatism has become a closed, inward-looking universe in which you get points not by sounding reasonable to uncommitted outsiders – although there are a few designated pundits who play that role professionally – but by outdoing your fellow movement members in zeal.

It’s sort of reminiscent of Stalinists going after Trotskyites in the old days: the Trotskyites were left deviationists, and also saboteurs working for the Nazis. Didn’t propagandists feel silly saying all that? Not at all: in their universe, extremism in defense of the larger truth was no vice, and you literally couldn’t go too far.

Krugman should have written neo-conservative rather than conservative, since Kristol is a leading neo-con, but Krugman is trying to attack with a broad brush and probably hopes he is getting a little paint on Ron Paul. But his bringing up of Trotsky clues us in that his real attack is on Kristol.

John Gray wrote in Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia:

Many of the older generation of neo-conservatives began on the anti-Stalinist far Left – Irving Kristol, the political godfather of the movement, wrote an autobiographical essay called ‘Memoirs of a Trotskyist’ – and the intellectual style of that sectarian milieu has marked the neo-conservative movement throughout its history. (p.122)

Got that? The neo-con movement emerged out of the Trotsky movement. Irving Kristol is, of course, Bill Kristol’s father.

So when Krugman calls a Bill Kristol move reminiscent of a Stalin-type tactic used against Trotskyites, Krugman is slapping Kristol hard, real hard. It’s not quite calling Kristol, Hitler, but calling his tactics Stalin-like, given the history, is not that far away.

Reprinted with permission from Economic Policy Journal.

2011 Economic Policy Journal

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